Warlocks defendant to invoke 'stand your ground' in biker murder trial

SANFORD — The first Philly Warlocks biker to come to trial in the shooting deaths of members of a rival gang will ask a judge Tuesday to clear him under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

David "Tin Man" Maloney, 54, of Longwood, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Defense attorney Michael LaFay says Maloney acted in self-defense Sept. 30, 2012, when he walked out of a Winter Springs VFW and began shooting at members of a rival biker gang, the Florida Warlocks.

Three were killed.

Maloney was a victim of a campaign of harassment and violence by the Florida Warlocks, LaFay alleged.

A Longwood police officer, Jose Gonzalez, testified Monday that on Feb. 19, 2011, more than a year before the triple homicide, someone shot at Maloney's house three times.

Maloney told police that he believed the shooter was Michael Spafford, a Florida Warlock member, who is now dead.

A few minutes earlier, Maloney's mother told jurors that a police officer urged her to get her son to move out of Florida or, better yet, the country.

"She knew there was a hit out on him," said Gail Maloney.

The defendant used to be a member of the Florida Warlocks but in 2010 was kicked out and later started his own splinter group.

Earlier Monday Circuit Judge Marlene Alva threw out one of the murder counts Maloney faced, ruling that the state had failed to put on any evidence that Maloney knew that one of his allies and co-defendants, was going to shoot rival biker and set setting off the gun battle.

LaFay said he would ask the judge on Tuesday to clear his client of all remaining charges, based on the state's "stand your ground" statute.

It provides criminal and civil immunity to anyone who uses deadly force, so long as he had a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury.

rstutzman@tribune.com